The Second Plague: Frogs
1Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him: This is what Yahweh says: Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. # Ex 3:12,18; 4:23 2But if you refuse to let them go, then I will plague all your territory with frogs. # Ex 7:14; 9:2; Rv 16:13 3The Nile will swarm with frogs; they will come up and go into your palace, into your bedroom and on your bed, into the houses of your officials and your people, and into your ovens and kneading bowls. 4The frogs will come up on you, your people, and all your officials.”
5 # Ex 8:1 in HbThe Lord then said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, canals, and ponds, and cause the frogs to come up onto the land of Egypt.” # Ex 7:19; 10:6 6When Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, the frogs # Ps 78:45; 105:30 came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7But the magicians did the same thing by their occult practices and brought frogs up onto the land of Egypt.
8Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Ask # Ex 8:28; 9:28; 10:17 Yahweh to remove the frogs from me and my people. Then I will let the people go and they can sacrifice to Yahweh.”
9Moses said to Pharaoh, “You make the choice rather than me. When should I ask on behalf of you, your officials, and your people, that the frogs be taken away from you and your houses, and remain only in the Nile?”
10“Tomorrow,” he answered.
Moses replied, “As you have said, so you may know there is no one like Yahweh our God, # Ex 9:14; Dt 33:26; 2Sm 7:22; 1Ch 17:20; Is 46:9; Jr 10:6-7 11the frogs will go away from you, your houses, your officials, and your people. The frogs will remain only in the Nile.” 12After Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord for help concerning the frogs that He had brought against # Or frogs, as he had agreed with Pharaoh. 13The Lord did as Moses had said: the frogs in the houses, courtyards, and fields died. 14They piled them in countless heaps, and there was a terrible odor in the land. 15But when Pharaoh saw there was relief, he hardened his heart # Ex 7:4; Ec 8:11 and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
The Third Plague: Gnats
16Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, and it will become gnats # Perhaps sand fleas or mosquitoes throughout the land of Egypt.” 17And they did this. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and when he struck the dust of the earth, gnats were on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats throughout the land of Egypt. 18The magicians tried to produce gnats using their occult practices, but they could not. The gnats remained on man and beast. # Ex 7:11; 9:11; Dn 5:8
19“This is the finger of God,” # Ps 8:3; Lk 11:20 the magicians said to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
The Fourth Plague: Swarms of Flies
20The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh when you see him going out to the water. Tell him: This is what Yahweh says: Let My people go, so that they may worship # Or serve Me. # Ex 2:5; 7:15; 8:1; 9:13 21But if you will not let My people go, then I will send swarms of flies # Or insects against you, your officials, your people, and your houses. The Egyptians’ houses will swarm with flies, and so will the land where they live. # Lit are 22But on that day I will give special treatment to the land of Goshen, where My people are living; # Ex 9:4,6; 10:23; 11:7 no flies will be there. This way you will know that I, Yahweh, am in the land. 23I will make a distinction # LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads will place deliverance between My people and your people. This sign will take place tomorrow.”
24And the Lord did this. Thick swarms of flies went into Pharaoh’s palace and his officials’ houses. Throughout Egypt the land was ruined because of the swarms of flies. # Ps 78:45; 105:31 25Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go sacrifice to your God within the country.”
26But Moses said, “It would not be right # Or allowable to do that, because what we will sacrifice to the Lord our God is detestable to the Egyptians. # Gn 43:32; 46:34 If we sacrifice what the Egyptians detest in front of them, won’t they stone us? 27We must go a distance of three days into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He instructs us.”
28Pharaoh responded, “I will let you go and sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness, but don’t go very far. Make an appeal # Ex 8:8; 9:28; 1Kg 13:6 for me.”
29“As soon as I leave you,” Moses said, “I will appeal to the Lord, and tomorrow the swarms of flies will depart from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. But Pharaoh must not act deceptively again by refusing to let the people go and sacrifice to the Lord.” 30Then Moses left Pharaoh’s presence and appealed to the Lord. 31The Lord did as Moses had said: He removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people; not one was left. 32But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also and did not let the people go.